Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Writing about Dead People

I was out to breakfast with my brother-in-law, who told me he really liked my latest Hevria piece. I thanked him, then immediately regretted it, because how do you thank someone for memories that aren't yours? This is how it goes.

The Friend I Never Called

BY   JUNE 19, 2018  ESSAY
I steal names. You should know this, first of all, if you want to be friends with me (or friends of friends, or one-night drinking buddies, or if you just wanna ask me about my weird hair). If you have a good name, or a strange name, or a musical name, I might swipe it and stick it in a story.
Alexandra Blitman didn’t just have a name that stuck in my head like a song, but she was a person who did. She was the first person I knew who played cello — before her, the only actual cellist I knew about was the Slovakian cellist in the James Bond movie The Living Daylightswhich my dad let me see with him when I was 9.
So I’m writing a story about a kid named Alex who’s a boy, and his best-friend-who-he-maybe-has-a-crush-on, also named Alix, who’s a girl, and I used real-life Alex’s name. Two strong trochees that might rhyme even though they mostly don’t. And Alex herself — she’s one of these people I always meant to keep up with and never did, and the few times I searched her nothing came up.
Then, last night, this did.
I tell stories for a living, and know that each is more than its headline. But Alexandra Blitman’s feels different:
I met her when we were kids, and we graduated from middle and high school together. We weren’t close, but we were friendly. Alex was friendly with everyone, though — a bright, free spirit whose genuine enthusiasm for life drew all of us to her, the straight arrows and the skaters and the jocks and everyone in between.
She died March 7, days after overdosing on heroin. She was 38.
Read the rest of my post here, or read the original article that inspired my piece.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

💪🤓 : Working Out, When You're a Nerd

I've been working out for a while now -- close to a year, maybe? -- which isn't so impressive in the greater scheme of things, or at least it isn't so impressive when you're a normal person, but considering I belong to the muscle-less minority and, for the first 30 or so years of my life, my greatest caloric expenditure was bobbing my head to They Might Be Giants songs, this is pretty notable. If I do say so myself.

Nerds Who Work Out

BY   JANUARY 16, 2018  ESSAY


I started working out because I am cheap. There a zillion amazing things about working for Google, including free lunch (yes they order in kosher stuff for me) (but from a steakhouse, and I’m a vegetarian, so I eat a lot of pasta), but because I am a contractor — yes, even though I’ve worked here for 2 years — I don’t get basic things like healthcare.
So I feel this need to take advantage of every little bit of free stuff that does come my way.
At least, that’s what I told myself when I started. I really wasn’t prepared for this.
I wasn’t ready for working out to run my life.

<<read the rest>>

Thursday, January 4, 2018

"Jackie, but Famous," and how you can read it right now

I'm really proud to have a new short story in Prime Number Magazine. Here's the beginning of it, and the rest is right after that little link on the bottom. It's kind of about the last real person still left in New York City.


Jackie, but Famous

Jackie had been running for the train, the 6:02 out of the city, convinced she was going to miss it, but also convinced that, with the correct combination of actions—magical gestures, glances at good luck omens like doves and not evil ones like pigeons, not stepping on any cracks in the pavement—she might still be able to make it. She wasn’t going to make it. The elevator took forever to come. The stoplights were against her. Traffic was still too heavy to safely run across. She walked fast, arms stiff, cutting through the air to her sides. She passed the length of one parked car, then another. The street was still too busy.

<< keep reading >>

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